The best self freezing ice cream maker can bring the flavor of hand-cranked soft-serve ice cream back to your house! In the mid-1900s, hand-cranked ice cream was all the rage. The original at-home ice cream makers used crushed ice and rock salt to bring an ice cream mix down to temperatures below freezing. Usually, a set of wooden dashers were cranked inside a turning metal cylinder full of home made ice cream mix. This metal cylinder was surrounded by layers of crushed ice and salt(to prolong the life of the ice). A couple of guys would take turns cranking the handle to keep the mix moving so it wouldn’t freeze solid while being made. This was(and sometimes still is) done outside where ice drainage and spilled salt wouldn’t harm the floors.
Later, the hand cranking was replaced by a motorized ice cream maker (seen at right) to move the dashers through the mix. This reduced the effort level required, but still needed to be done outside for easiest cleanup. Now, the self freezing ice cream maker uses refrigeration to bring the whole process to a few easy steps, into your kitchen.
Self freezing ice cream makers have an internal compressor to refrigerate the mixing bowl while the ice cream is being churned. The higher end refrigerated models have larger bowls and automatic shutoff in the event the ice cream gets too thick while it’s being made. Even the less expensive self-refrigerated models include timers to alert you when to mix in flavors and other ingredients.
There are several benefits to buying the best self freezing ice cream maker you can afford, as opposed to the less expensive models. Many sub-$100 home ice cream churners require you to freeze the mixing bowl overnight prior to making your own ice cream. If you plan ahead, this isn’t bad, but it does require a spot in your freezer to store the bowl. The self freezing models refrigerate the ice cream themselves. This makes it more convenient to make ice cream when it suits your schedule.
|Brand / Model||Size||Style||Picture|
|Cuisinart||2 Qt.||Requires pre-freezing of mix bowl|
|Cuisinart||1.5 Qt.||Self freezing ice cream maker|
|Whynter||2.1 Qt||Self freezing ice cream maker|